How I Stay In Shape
I spent most of my adult life trying to keep my weight at the lower end of the healthy range for my height, but it’s hard to fight nature. I think everyone’s body has a natural happy place, and if we try to fight it, it’s bound to be an uphill battle.
A few years ago, I decided to stop fighting my body’s natural happy place and get in shape instead, and I’ve been much more content with myself and my body ever since, so today I thought I’d share what I do to stay in shape — or, shall we say, fit(ish).
I saw this graphic on Instagram yesterday, and I had to chuckle.
I know I could be thinner and buffer, but I like to enjoy the occasional indulgence and I don’t care to spend my life at the gym so fit(ish) is good enough for me, although I will admit, creating this post is making me put my money where my mouth is. There’s nothing like seeing yourself in spandex magnified on a 27-inch retina screen to remind you of all your imperfections. Ha!!
They say strength training extends your life and cardio improves your quality of life — or something like that, and I believe both have their place in a healthy lifestyle.
Staying in shape is really all about creating healthy habits, and some type of exercise needs to be part of those habits. It also does a world of good for your mental health, just sayin’.
I try to run or walk fast for at least 30 minutes, 3 or 4 times a week. I would like to get that back up to 5 days a week, but my knees are still being troublesome, and my ankle too at times. It took me a long time to recover from a tendon tear and stress fracture, and I don’t want to get injured again, so I’m taking it slowly.
I try not to make excuses. I’ve invested in the proper gear so I can run in the rain or when it’s 20 degrees or when it’s 85 degrees, and I always pack my running clothes and take them on vacation. Exercising on vacation is a great opportunity to explore, and it’s fun to change up the scenery. I find that the more consistent I am with exercise, the more I miss it when I skip it, and that helps keep me motivated.
It doesn’t have to be running. Walking fast is probably better for you in the long run, but I’m addicted to that runner’s high and I’m not ready to give it up yet.
I also like to bike. I bought my bike a few years ago when I couldn’t run due to plantar fasciitis, and it is my goal to ride at least once a week during the warmer months to give my knees and ankles a break from running.
My husband and I like to go to a trail on Saturday mornings and bang out 8-10 miles. I especially like to bike when we’re on vacation because it’s a great way to explore a new area. I’m excited to get my bike out now that spring is (supposedly) here.
I also lift weights twice a week. I work with a trainer because I am lazy and the only way I can motivate myself to work out is if I have a pre-paid appointment that I don’t want to forfeit. I also love working out with a trainer because she pushes me far beyond where I would ever push myself, she makes sure I’m doing the exercises properly, and she changes up our routine constantly so I don’t get bored.
I also try to do all the little everyday things “they” say you should do, like take the stairs when they’re available and park the car at the end of the parking lot and walk. When I was in California last week, I figured out where the stairs were in our hotel and took them almost every time. I always feel so virtuous walking past the people standing in line for the elevator, haha!
On the days I don’t run, I try to at least walk the dog around the block. It always feels good to get outside and get some fresh air in the middle of the work day.
Life is full of seasons, and not every season of life allows the time and/or energy to invest in regular workouts. I’m all for giving myself some grace when I’m in one of those seasons, but I try not to give myself a free pass for too long or new lazy habits will replace the old healthy habits.
It also helps to have an accountability partner, so if you’re struggling with motivation, find a friend and make a schedule to work out together.
Basically, staying fit(ish) is all about finding activities you enjoy, eliminating excuses, and sticking with them until they become your new normal. Of course, having cute activewear helps, so when Nordstrom asked me to partner with them to promote their Zella activewear line, I was all for it.
I have become a huge fan of the Zella brand recently. The quality is fantastic, their styles are on trend, and the price point is reasonable. Plus, it’s at Nordstrom, so you get the benefit of their free shipping and returns and their generous return policy.
I ordered these Circuit Bike Shorts in their Blue Vivid Nouveau print as an alternative to the Slim Fit Capris I usually wear. I thought they’d be more comfortable when the weather warms up. They also have this fun Nouveau print in capris if you like that length better. These shorts are super thick so they don’t cling to the areas you don’t want to draw attention to, plus the pattern is distracting, which can be helpful if you have cellulite issues. (I sure do!)
The Double Scoop Tank is a great basic that goes with so many of my printed workout pants. I like that you can wear it over a regular bra, and it also fits nicely over a sports bra.
I have my trusty Fleece Front Hoodie tied around my waist. It’s been such a cold spring, I find myself wearing it ALL the time over my workout gear to and from the gym and PT, and often around the house for the rest of the day. It’s so comfortable, but it’s also stylish enough to take my workout wear into the athleisure category if I need to run to the store or chauffeur the kids to their various lessons.
Also, this S’well Water Bottle is the bomb. I picked it up at Nordstrom a few weeks ago when I was shopping in their activewear section, and I also got one for my mom for her birthday because she works out regularly too. This bottle keeps my water cold all day (no ice required) and I love how easy it is to drink from, and there are no hidden parts to wash. Because it has a narrow opening, it doesn’t splash in my face (yes, that happens regularly when I drink out of wide-mouth water bottles!) In my opinion, it is the perfect water bottle (and I’ve tried tons in my attempts not to drink from plastic.)
Plus, S’well donates a portion of the proceeds from the sale of each bottle to UNICEF to help provide clean drinking water to children around the world, and I love that.
I truly believe the most beautiful women are those who are confident and comfortable in their own skin, and staying active is a key component to achieving that. If you haven’t found an activity you enjoy, I encourage you to try new things until you do.
I know some women love spinning classes, I hear lots of great things about barre workouts, and there’s always zumba and yoga. There are so many options! You don’t have to run to be healthy, but you do need to be active.
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